27.04.2005 Regional News

Leaders advised to rule by divine principles.

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Accra, April 27, GNA - Maulvi Wahab Adam, Head and Missionary in-charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, on Wednesday advised persons in leadership positions to exercise their mandate within the purview of divine principles.

He explained that divine principles formed the basis of moral and criminal law and people ignore them to their disadvantage. Maulvi Adam was speaking at a symposium organized by Interreligious and International Federation for world peace, a non-governmental organization that focused on achieving universal peace among people. The symposium was under the theme: "Sustainable culture of peace through good governance" with a focus on politics and politicians. Maulvi Adams said, "Peace that we seek for our country through good governance can only be found in our recognition of the principles that our creator has laid down...because God alone is the source of all peace."

He said leaders should tread path that makes on both his office and the political, social and the moral environment and urged people aspiring to leadership positions to recognize the fundamental tenets. Touching on various demonstrations that are organized by various groups to register their protest about something in the country, Maulvi Adam said protest against policies were democratic rights of people but should not include insults, destruction of property and equipment and the disruption of essential services.

"What do we gain, either as individuals or as a nation, when the little that we have by way of property and equipment is destroyed in anger," he asked.

He expressed worry about the issue of ethnicity and ethnic mobilization, and said it was gaining prominence in public discourse. Ethnic mobilization, he said could be useful for development as seen during festivals, however when it is used to sow seeds of discord it undermines the country's fragile democracy.

Maulvi Adams also spoke about the burial of the Ya-Na and urged those who had control to ensure that tradition was followed to give the Ya-Na a final rest.

He called for more women groups to help in conflict resolution and establish peace in the nation.

Mr Ernest Ntim Ofori, General Secretary of the Etherean Mission, a non-denominational religious group, reiterated the need for people to stop dividing themselves on ethnic lines. He mentioned anger, fear and past experiences as some elements that hinder peace in a nation.

Mr Ntim Ofori called on parents to give proper training to their children by cultivating the basic principles of peace in them. Mrs Leonora Kyeremanten, Coordinator of the national governance programme, mentioned tolerance as the key to maintaining peace in the country.

She said people have the right to choose what political party or religious body they want to belong to and their rights must be respected.

"Rights are God given, be jealous about your rights and insist on them," she stressed.

Mr Cletus Avoka, a former member of parliament for Bakwu West, blamed the media and civil society for the tension in the society. He said the media could do better if they were more vibrant and keep the government on its toes.

Mr Raymond Ankomah, Business Development Manager of the Ghana News Agency, said to sustain democracy and encourage good governance, the media must be seen around every corner.

"Apart from playing the watchdog role, we give a lot of information to the public and the government as well," he said Mr Ankomah however, said the media had its own limitation and called on the government and civil society to support media activities.

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